Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

A red and white woven basket shines in the center of the frame against a black background.

NAGPRA

Gift presented to the Peabody Museum from the Maine Tribes in
acknowledgement of repatriation during ceremonial transfer. Sept, 2021.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

NAGPRA requires the Peabody and other museums, in consultation with Tribes, to identify and return Native American human remains, funerary objects, objects of cultural patrimony, and sacred objects. The Peabody has a dedicated staff who work on the implementation of NAGPRA and the ethical and moral imperative it represents. 

Object study and documentation, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, 2016.
Object study and documentation during NAGPRA consultation visit by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, 2016.

NAGPRA at the Peabody

NAGPRA Consultation Visit, Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, July 16-17, 2019
NAGPRA Consultation Visit, Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, July 16-17, 2019

Inquiries, Contacts, and Forms

Object study and documentation, Comanche Nation, 2016.
Object study and documentation, Comanche Nation, 2016.

Community Partnerships

Peabody Museum NAGPRA Advisory Committee

The museum’s NAGPRA Advisory Committee advises the Peabody Museum Director on issues and decisions in regard to the implementation of NAGPRA, as well as providing counsel to the Peabody Faculty Executive Committee and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Four people sit around a table, three wearing lab coats. One person on the far right raises their hands to point at their head, as if explaining the use of an object.
NAGPRA consultation visit by the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, 2018.
museum exterior.

Announcement Regarding Interim Research Policy for Human Remains and Associated Funerary Objects Under NAGPRA

The Peabody Museum recognizes its significant role in the colonial history of museum collecting and the ethical imperative to address that legacy and to work to repair it. The Peabody upholds NAGPRA as Federal law and promotes NAGPRA as a key mechanism to initiate such repair through dialogue with Indigenous nations. This work includes a concrete commitment to the return of individuals and their funerary belongings to fulfill the ethical and moral imperative of NAGPRA.

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What is NAGPRA?

NAGPRA requires the Peabody Museum and other museums to repatriate culturally affiliated Native American human remains, funerary objects, objects of cultural patrimony, and sacred objects. The statute, along with subsequent administrative regulations, sets forth a detailed administrative process that museums must follow, including the inventorying of relevant holdings, communications and consultations with tribal nations, publication of notices in the Federal Register, and eventual transfer of human remains and cultural items to tribal nations. Details of the statute, regulations and process is available at National NAGPRA, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.